Sexual Abuse Effects on Children, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence
A recent discussion I was involved in got me to ask this question; “When is the right time and place to educate your kids about sexual molestation?”
This discussion came up in an online group and eventually got everyone on high alert. A girl child (about 11 years old) was told by an elderly stranger (man is certainly over 55 years old) that he liked her because she is beautiful, and would love to marry her. Luckily, the child seemed to have gone through the rudiments of sex education. She returned immediately to her mother to report to her mum that the man is a predator.
According to the Wikipedia,
A sexual predator is a person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically “predatory” or abusive manner.”
Analogous to how a predator hunts down its prey, so the sexual predator is thought to “hunt” for his or her sex partners. Looking at the definition given above, I can safely say that no one can claim to be totally free from sexual molestation.
Now I will narrate a true story…. A man and his wife had two beautiful girls, two years apart.
They also had a live-in relative who was a direct uncle to the girls. Uncle, as he was fondly called by the girls was very nice to the girls and I bet they saw his entire nicety to be “risk free”. Of course anything done with uncle was safe (including congratulory hugs and the them not being too mindful of what they wore), so they thought. Little did they know that uncle was just mapping his journey towards their pants and making his plot.
To summarize, uncle came to the first of the girls one night and raped her (details removed to avoid been too graphic). She was about 14 years old as at then (just started SSS1 class). After his evil deed, he threatened to kill her should she spill the story. Guess what, it became a regular night journey between her and uncle, and at some point even during day time. Honestly she said she never wanted nor enjoyed it but was too scared of the uncle as he continued threatening her.
To further the inhumane nature of this uncle, he also started doing same with her younger sister. Even though the sisters never talked about these molestations till date, they both knew what was happening between the other and uncle.
Now at over 27years old, she said she still sees uncle who’s now married. She feels like killing him for hurting her terribly. She said he took her priced virginity without her knowing the beauty of “first time”. She never shared this story with anyone around her, not even with her parents because she felt ashamed.
Now, unto a second real story, Alfred (real name withheld) who is now a father of two reported that many years ago while in the junior secondary school (in a boarding facility), had a fellow student (same sex) come to fondle his sex organ at night. He acted asleep and also never confronted this student out of fear. Luckily for him, the molester never returned.
Many in the past have suffered these molestations and sadly many are still suffering same in their different forms. So directly or indirectly, it is safe to assume that children are molested everyday in this our world. Adults, when they ponder through certain things that happened to them when they were much younger, realise how much they were sexually abused. we never realised it then because we lacked the knowledge as children to actually what it was. Unfortunately, these gory stories die with us all because we want to avoid the stigma that comes from people knowing, and in the case where family members were involved, we want to save the family name.
So I ask; Do we leave our children to suffer this same fate? When is the right time to talk to your kids about sex and sexual molestation? Do you think they are too young? Or Do you see sex as a topic not for kids? Why not catch them young as ignorance is no excuse. Everyday children have traumatic experiences but because their parents/guardians/custodians are too ashamed to deal with such experiences, the kids endure it and live with the shame or even guilt in some cases.
Sadly too, many reading this have been PREDATORS, whether with or without understanding. Parents need to educate their children more about these things and not overlook certain signs.
Many girls have become pregnant for cousins when they went on vacation. We have our roles to play as grown-ups in our respective communities.
These predators are on the rise and we need to identify them and save our young ones. And oh! Do not be deceived. Adults are still victims.
May God continue to protect us all as we play our parts in society building, amen
Edited by Henry “Taiye” Nwosu.
He is a husband and Father and he writes from his experiences as a Naija Father.